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15 Must-Have Apps That Will Make Your Life More Convenient

15 Must-Have Apps That Will Make Your Life More Convenient

We live in a time where there is a need for speed. An average person performs multiple tasks during each day besides their regular work. We organize our time as best as we can to do as much as possible. Still, efficiency is the key. Luckily, with modern technological advancements we can get the information we need almost instantly, and while on the go.

Just about everyone owns a smartphone nowadays and these devices have become one of our best friends over a short period of time. Some might argue that there is a huge downside to this and that people are becoming anti-social because of their modern gadgets. That may be true, but it all depends on the individual and how he or she plans on using the latest technological advancements.

Amongst other things, smartphones have thousands of apps coming out each month. If used properly, these apps can improve your life significantly and help you do regular activities more efficiently, and here is how.

1. Pocket Yoga

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    The name of this app is self-explanatory. It’s an app that brings yoga to your phone. It has many yoga exercises to choose from, depending on the difficulty, duration, or simply the exercises you feel like doing. No matter how much time you have for your yoga session or the your skill level required for performing these exercises, with Pocket Yoga you can find what you need. Instant pocket Yoga, simple as that. The app is free.

    2. Dreamdays

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      Dreamdays is an app that allows you to count down days to a designated date. While doing so you can sort all of your countdowns by time and categories. Each of the countdowns created are customizable, and you can add recorded voice memos, personal background or any other emotions that relate to the event you are counting down to. Furthermore, you can use the app to share your feelings, or delights about that event on Twitter or Facebook. The cost of the app is 0.99 dollars.

      3. Smart Alarm Clock

      This app is a crafty tool that analyzes and records your sleeping patterns and wakes you up at the ideal moment once your body has received its rest. It uses the accelerometers, geometers and smart algorithms of your smartphone to detect and monitor your movements while you are asleep. Based on the collected data it can determine in which stage of sleep you are in, and the alarm will go off in the most natural to allow you to wake up easily. This is a great app for business people that are on a tight schedule and have trouble getting enough sleep. The Smart Alarm Clock price is $ 1.99.

      4. DailyBurn

      If you don’t want to pay for expensive monthly subscriptions at the gym, or simply don’t have enough time to go to the gym, you will find that DailyBurn is just the right choice for you. DailyBurn has a huge database of professional HD training videos for yoga, strength training, beginner workouts, dance lessons, cardio training etc. The need for an instructor is completely removed with DailyBurn and you can definitively find training videos that can suit your needs, whether you’re looking for long work-outs or short training sessions, and it is completely free.

      5. OpenTable

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        There is absolutely nothing more annoying than having to wait for weeks to get a table at some fancy restaurant you like. If you want to avoid this whole process get an OpenTable app! Convenience is what this app is all about and with just a few clicks you can get access to reservations in over twenty thousand restaurants located in United States, Mexico and Canada.

        Whenever a reservation opens up you can quickly sign up for that place, without having to call anyone or wait in lines. The app also allows you to share reservations on social networks or invite friends to join you. OpenTable is free.

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        6. Ellucian Go

        This is an app college students will find really useful. It has access to a database of almost all colleges in the entire United States. It updates users about the recent events on your college, homework, grades, schedules and other things. All available in one convenient place. This I a great app for students that study long way from home and they can easily get updated when they are visiting their parents. The app is free.

        7. Lumosity Mobile

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          If you like challenging your brain all the time, then Lumosity Mobile is the right thing for you. This app creates training programs that train your brain. It was designed by expert neuroscientists to help users train attention, memory, logic and a lot more. If you like your mind to stay ahead of the curve then you will have fun playing Lumosity games. It’s a free to use app.

          8. Health Mate

          Health mate is your health’s, well, mate. Using the sensors in your smartphone this app tracks and monitors your everyday hearth rate and activity. It measures how active you have been during the day and tells you how much stress you’ve put on your heart. If you find that you are not as active as you would like to be, you can set goals using this app to ensure that you stay active throughout the day. And the best thing is that it is free to use.

          9. Paperless

          For people who like creating and using lists this app is something they’ve waited for a long time. This app allows you to create literally anything in your list. It’s a quite simple, but powerful tool that allows you to do anything from creating your grocery list to writing down a starting plan for your vacation. It has a simple, yet beautiful design that has a lot of fun icons you can attach to your lists. The price for this app is $ 2.99.

          10. Vallet – Virtual Wallet

          This is an app that simulates your virtual wallet. Vallet is a really useful app that looks and acts like a normal wallet, but it as it has many more conveniences. You can keep all of your essentials in one place: business cards, credit cards, ID’s, or, create a unique category that suits your needs. The app comes with a security system that has a passcode you can customize so that nobody else can access your Vallet. Vallet is a free app.

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          11. Find My iPhone

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            I encourage all iPhone users to get this app as soon as possible if they don’t have it already. With Find My iPhone you can find your missing phone on a map, lock it remotely, send a message on it, erase everything you have on it, or make it play sounds. We constantly lose our phones, and regardless of whether you’ve lost it somewhere around the house or you dropped it on your way to work, Find My Phone will, in fact, FIND YOUR PHONE. It’s a free app, so make sure you get it.

            12. KIK Messenger

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              KIK is a fairly new messenger app that is growing in users rapidly. What makes it special is that it’s a clutter free messenger app that was enhanced to make up for the shortcomings of its older relatives. It’s a powerful tool that allows quick and easy communication on all of your devices. You don’t need any usernames or numbers to contact people and communicate with them without any distractions or glitches. KIK Messenger is free to use.

              13. Mynd

              Mynd is an app that transforms your smartphone into your personal assistant. With just one tap, you can join conference calls, propose meetings, coordinate a group of people for meetings, and see the travel time needed to get between all of your scheduled meetings. You can even access LinkedIn automatically to find out who is attending a certain meeting. Managers, HR workers and other people who need to handle a large number of people are likely to fall in love with Mynd. It’s a free app.

              14. Mint Personal Finance

              Sometimes we forget to check our bank accounts and when we take a look to see how things are doing, we are surprised by what we see. We get carried away and have no clue about how much we are spending and how much money we have left on our account. This is why a lot of people love this app. With it, you can track all of your spending, create bill reminders, make a money-saving plan or create a brand new budget. It can even remind you when your bills are due so that you don’t forget paying them.  It’s a free app.

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              15. Nice Weather 2

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                For people who travel a lot, whether for business or pleasure, this app is the right thing. It’s a visually appealing app that can help you organize yourself and plan what to wear when going somewhere. If the weather is an important factor to you, then this beautiful app is your best choice.

                If you think any of these apps will fit in with your lifestyle and make things more convenient for you, give them a try. They are inexpensive, considering just how much easier they will make your life.

                Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nnova/ via flickr.com

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                Ivan Dimitrijevic

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                Last Updated on August 6, 2018

                20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. But most people may not be using Google search to its full potential.

                Want to use Google search more efficiently and get the search results you want quickly? Here are 20 Google search tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency:

                1. Use the tabs

                The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

                2. Use quotes

                When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

                3. Use a hyphen to exclude words

                Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

                • Mustang -cars

                This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

                4. Use a colon to search specific sites

                There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

                • Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com

                This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

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                5. Find a page that links to another page

                This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.

                • link:nytimes.com

                That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

                6. Use the asterisk wildcard

                The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

                • “Come * right now * me”

                To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

                7. Find sites that are similar to other sites

                This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.

                • related:amazon.com

                If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

                8. Use Google search to do math

                As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

                • 8 * 5 + 5
                • Planck’s Consant

                If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

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                9. Search for multiple words at once

                Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

                • “Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”

                By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

                • chocolate OR white chocolate

                This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

                10. Search a range of numbers

                Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

                • What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
                • 41..43

                In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

                11. Keep it simple

                Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

                • Pizza places nearby

                Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

                12. Gradually add search terms

                There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

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                • First try: job interviews
                • Second try: prepare for job interviews
                • Third try: how to prepare for a job interview

                This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

                13. Use words that websites would use

                This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

                • “I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
                • “My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

                The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

                14. Use important words only

                The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

                • Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
                • Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
                • Or: Chinese restaurants near me.

                Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

                15. Google search has shortcuts

                A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

                • Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
                • What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
                • The math example posted above is another one.
                • What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
                • Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
                • You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.

                These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

                16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

                Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

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                • If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

                This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

                17. Use descriptive words

                Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

                • You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
                • When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”

                There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

                18. Find a specific file

                An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

                • *Search term here* filetype:pdf

                In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

                19. Money and unit conversions

                Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

                • miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
                • USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.

                It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

                20. Track your packages

                Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

                Google Search wrap-up

                Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.

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